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10 Questions: Get to know Paul Lanier

“10 Questions” is a feature where we get to know School of Social Work people better by asking them 10 personal questions. This month we interview Assistant Professor Paul Lanier, Ph.D.

1. What is your favorite class at UNC?
So far, I’ve really enjoyed teaching social policy and program evaluation. But my favorite class when I was an undergrad at UNC was avian biology (birdwatching). Going outside has never been the same.

2. Who is your favorite performer?
I try to see a lot of music so it is hard to pick a favorite. My favorite shows of all time would have to include Beastie Boys, Depeche Mode, and Radiohead. Currently, I think the Avett Brothers are the best live band you can see.

3. What is your favorite food?
I love seafood, probably shrimp and grits.

4. What is your favorite place to visit?
St. Louis. We lived there for 5 years when I was in the doctoral program at Washington University. I really miss the people there. It is also a really fun city with a lot of cool (and free) things to do.

5. What is one skill you wish you could do better?
Artistic things like design or drawing. My three-year-old son’s handwriting is already better than mine.

6. Who is the person in history you’d most like to meet?
Theodore Roosevelt

7. Who is your best friend at another university?
Jen Greenfield at University of Denver. She and I survived the doctoral program and job market together. She is the only person I know who has actually read and can explain the Affordable Care Act.

8. Who was your most inspirational teacher?
Karl Bretz, my AP biology teacher at Mt. Airy High School. He made it seem so cool to be a critical thinker.

9. Who is your favorite former/current Carolina athlete?
Julius Peppers. Amazing football player, but I remember thinking the Dean Dome was going to collapse from his monstrous slam dunks.

10. What talents do you have outside of your faculty work?
I’m a decent soccer player and mediocre drummer. But I try really hard.